Seaco Global, Highly Commended at the 2016 Employee Engagement Awards in Association with People Insight
When Seaco Global set out to ‘create a teambuilding activity for the management team to achieve some social good in SE Asia, where they are based,’ they did not imagine the impact it would have on those that took part.
Seaco’s teambuilding activity becomes a major CSR initiative
A school dormitory was built in a remote and poor area of Vietnam, to help students who were sleeping on the classroom floor because their trip to school was so difficult. Such was the impact of the activity, that the experience has become a coordinated CSR project with an annual budget of c. $150,000.
Seaco have now achieved 4 major project iterations. The focus is school building and school restoration projects in South East Asia, with capital investment provided by the company in partnership with Action on Poverty, a South East Asian charity. These projects help keep children, especially girls, in school to get a decent education.
“A great privilege to have served two CSR projects. A humbling and soul enriching experience alongside the teams which brought about improvements to the lives of individuals and the community.”
Carolyne Wallmark, Regional Operations Director Asia
How staff get involved
The plan is to run as many programmes as possible to give all employees the chance to take advantage of this unusual opportunity. Groups of 20 employees at a time are selected from offices around the world to make a charitable contribution through hard work on week long projects.
Learnings / Looking after our staff
We took the expert guidance of our charity partners, including Concern Universal very seriously, to ensure we got things right for the communities, and we kept our employees safe (but out of their comfort zone!).
The smiles on the faces of the local children, knowing that their days of sleeping on classroom floors with no permanent space all week were now past them.
The activity has given employees a real feeling of ‘giving something back’, engendering a great pride in what the organisation has committed to do. With subsequent projects it’s a constant refining process, with participants enthusiastically inputting what can be improved each time to the project leads.
A high percentage of employees display a real sense of pride that the company they work for puts such value in the project and also that they believe that everyone will have the opportunity, in time, to participate.
Said Russell Piper, Global HR Director,
“We had very little in the way of displays in our offices until the CSR project but employees really want the project as ‘wall art’. It reflects their pride and acts a constant reminder that we are not just a numbers driven corporate machine.”
Besides the great pride employees have, knowing we help some of the poorest regions in the world, the initiative has enabled virtual teams to work together better. Meeting colleagues from all roles and all regions on a ‘level playing field’ cannot be underestimated. It is also a true team building event with all the paraphernalia of office stripped away. Colleagues who work within the same teams and offices gain a new respect for each other, seeing each other in a tough, unusual environment. This shared experience can be drawn upon in the workplace.
“The whole CSR Project has been a very positive experience and has allowed us to put structure into our previously random and ad hoc charitable giving, irrespective of where it is in the world.”
Find out more about the EE Awards winners here.
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